MILAN, July 12 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said on Wednesday it revised the outlook for Telecom Italia on the basis of an improved operating performance and cash flow generation by the Italian phone incumbent.
"Telecom Italia continues to successfully execute its efficiencies plan and we expect significantly lower capital expenditure from 2018," S&P said in a statement.
The agency affirmed Telecom Italia's BB+ long-term credit rating and raised the outlook to positive from stable.
S&P added that investments made by the former state-controlled monopoly in fiber and mobile networks position the group well against the risk of increased competition in the Italian market.
On Tuesday Telecom's Chief Executive Flavio Cattaneo sought to brush off media reports that he might soon leave the phone group due to disagreements with top shareholder Vivendi but sources said tensions remained.
Despite being appointed at the helm of the company a little more than a year ago, Cattaneo had engaged in a heated exchange with Italy's government over the rollout of ultrafast broadband across the company, upsetting the French media group. (Reporting by Giulia Segreti; editing by Francesca Landini)